Zooey Deschanel is ‘New Girl’ to Fox TV stardom

By Kendall Kaut

For years a hipster’s opinion has been easy to pass by without missing much. No one really cared about that concert for global warming and the fair trade movement’s lasting achievement will be Chipotle’s ability to charge $10 for a burrito.

Yet for years, hipsters have talked about Zooey Deschanel, a singer, actress and comedian. She is perhaps most famous for her work on “(500) Days of Summer,” “Our Idiot Brother” or possibly “Yes, Man.” On Tuesday night Fox debuted “New Girl,” Deschanel’s new series, and hipsters were finally vindicated.

“New Girl” stars Deschanel as Jess Day, one of the craziest lead characters in television history. Jess begins the show returning early from work to see her boyfriend, who is seeing a lot of someone else.

Obviously Jess needs a new place to live, so she begins apartment hunting and decides to live with three men with different personalities. Coach (Damon Wayans Jr.), an overbearing gym instructor, creates a nice foil to Jess’ laid-back attitude. The other roommates are Nick (Jake Johnson) an intelligent, voice of wisdom bartender and Schmidt (Max Greenfield) as a do-anything-to-get-ahead businessman.

The cast set-up for “New Girl” is brilliant. Deschanel clearly has the most talent and broadest appeal on the show. Deschanel is funny and has drawn a cult following from years of hipster love.

In shows like “How I Met Your Mother,” the primary goofy character is cast aside for a neutral lead. “New Girl” has taken the crazy idea that if you have LeBron James on your team, you don’t make Chris Bosh the star.

Deschanel demonstrated her singing ability, highlighting that it is possible to have singing without having to be “Glee.”

The transition to the roommates could be an area of concern later in the season because some of the roommates, like Coach, seem to be too one-dimensional. But with Deschanel the focal point of the show, she should be able to compensate for any weaknesses in the other characters.

“New Girl” has a lot going for it that will make this show viable for a while. “New Girl” follows “Glee” so it is likely to have a large lead in audience. Ratings released by Nielson from episode one showed 10 million people tuned in, 2 million more than watched “Glee.”

“New Girl” also finished No. 1 in its timeslot among young viewers — the people networks care about because of the ability to build brand loyalty and advertisers’ desire to win young viewers in a quick time.

Look, I may be a hipster and Zooey Deschanel may not actually be talented. All I can say is I had never heard of “Pumped up Kicks” until it had 2 million YouTube hits, and am not eager to discuss fair trade with anyone so I do not just talk about things no one likes.

Fox though has given us a show we can all enjoy. A show that focuses on someone hipsters were right about, a show with great writing and something that has not sold out.

The age has finally happened where hipsters and regular people can enjoy the same thing.

Reviews in the Lariat represent only the viewpoint of the reviewer and not necessarily the rest of the staff. Please send comments to lariat@baylor.edu.